Pacific Ocean Division offers employee a chance at progression through professional development training

by Antwaun J. Parrish, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District
Stripes Korea

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kansas—Within the Department of the Army Professionals field, there are educational courses designed to train future and current leaders across all spectrums.

Army professionals often attend the Civilian Education System (CES) Leader Development Program at the Army Management Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. CES provides enhanced educational opportunities for civilians throughout their career.

It can seem difficult to travel from outside the Continental United States (OCONUS) to attend training due to a number of elements. However, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Pacific Ocean Division (POD) ensures that its employees are offered opportunities to attend training.

Cindy Sheu, a civil engineer from the USACE Japan District, recently attended the CES intermediate course at Fort Leavenworth.

The Japan district is a subordinate unit of POD, which requires eligible candidates for the course to submit a packet of information prior to being selected to attend the training. Once the employee is selected, they must select a course date and process their travel orders through the Defense Travel System.

Sheu stated that this process can be quite time consuming, however, she found it to be worthwhile.

“Once everything aligned, that was the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Sheu. “I hope that more people take this opportunity, there are many benefits to this course.”

Leadership training can cover an array of topics. At the CES course, attendees are taught through the adult learning model. The adult learning model views progression as a way to gauge whether the student has learned the material.

“I came here with an open mind,” said Sheu. “I didn’t have any expectations, but I was willing to learn as I knew that this course is required for future opportunities.”

John Kutzman, a writer and instructor at AMSC since 2014, is confident that the course is beneficial regardless of the distance traveled to attend.

“It’s a testament to how well our program works here and how people admire our program due to the positive feedback we’re getting from all of the major commands based on their employees’ experience,” said Kutzman. “I am honored that overseas folks come here, and I thinks it’s a fantastic concept that we can mix classrooms in such a way that we have a diverse crowd. You’re going to get a lot of strong perspectives and anecdotal information from being in this class.”

Kutzman speaks highly of the professional education and leadership taught at the course. He states that it’s imperative the hemorrhaging of talent ceases, and we garner the talent we have in order to groom it for the Army’s future.

“Education is a huge part of our responsibility and a way to show them how we want them to lead as a generating force and as professionals.”

Kutzman stated that he looks forward to training more professionals and sharing the knowledge that he’s acquired.

“I think anyone who comes here has a wonderful experience,” said Kutzman. “It’s a fantastic experience for anyone who wants to serve as an Army civilian.”

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